Welcome to the Freelance Marketing Series #4! Last time, we talked about where to find prospects.
Today, I’d like to talk about something that I’ve been asked about on a fairly regular basis. Does this scenario sound familiar?
You’re searching for clients, you’ve found a great prospect, and now you’ve got to find your point of contact. Hmm, how about clicking on “team members”. That’ll be helpful!
Except that what you find is a list of 20 people in suits with long titles. Who in the heck do you pitch to?
If you think the answer is to send a general inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org, you are wrong. Stop in your tracks.
General gets you nowhere when it comes to pitching. In fact, that email might never get seen.
Instead, look for these titles or word combinations within a title. These clues will tell you that you’ve got the right person. I’m going to try to list these from the most specific titles I’ve seen to the broadest.
If you’ve found a company with a content manager, you’re super lucky! While it’s becoming more common for companies to have a content manager, it’s still less common than some other titles. The content manager will be able to tell you whether or not the company is hiring freelancers and if they feel your services are a fit. Try this person first. Keep in mind that their title could be any variation of Content Manager, Content Director, Content Curator, and so on. If “content” is in their title, though, they are your best bet.
Marketing Manager or Director of Marketing
If there’s no content manager or director to be found, then your next task is to find someone who manages or directs the marketing activities of the company. The reason for this is that while, sure, you’re selling them content, what you’re actually selling them is content marketing. Therefore, the marketing director could be of help to you in terms of establishing a relationship with the company.
Chief Marketing Officer
If there aren’t any employees in mid-management positions, such as the two described above, then you’ll have to go for the big guns and see if there is a CMO. You might ask why I’d rather find my entry point with a mid-level manager instead of the top guys, and that would be a fair question. The reason is that those at the top are crazy busy. If they see my email at all, it’s probably not going to make a blip on the radar, given everything else they have to do, and that’s understandable. That’s why finding someone who is mid-level and only focused on content or marketing is a better option for starting a relationship with the prospect. That being said, I’ve also had success with CMOs (and even CEOs), so it’s worth trying them out to see if they’ll be interested in what you have to offer.
Are these the only titles that exist? Of course not. But they’re the most common categories of job titles that you’ll see when trying to figure out who to pitch your services to. Another way to go about it is simply to call the company and ask them who handles their content and/or marketing. That will typically get you to the right person. You don’t even have to talk to your target contact on the phone. Just a name is enough to look up their email address or Twitter handle.
I could say a lot more about marketing, but let’s not handle everything in one blog post! As always, if you’re interested in some more tips on marketing, you can check out my book A Freelance Writer’s Guide to Marketing on Amazon.
Look out for tomorrow’s blog on what to include in your first email to a new prospect.